Commissioners Mariya Gabriel (Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth) and Adina Valean (Transport and Mobility) joined EU leaders, CEOs and representatives from academia and road transport in discussing their visions on the way forward towards cooperative, connected and automated mobility (CCAM).
This year’s edition of the conference took place on 20-22 April under the motto ‘Yes, we CCAM!’, highlighting the crucial role of the upcoming CCAM Partnership in implementing the new technology. The Partnership aims to exploit the full systemic benefits of new mobility solutions enabled by CCAM: increased safety, reduced environmental impacts, and inclusiveness.
EUCAD 2021 brought together thought leaders in the field to discuss how to make CCAM a reality. Participants enjoyed policy-oriented plenary sessions and a virtual exhibition that featured R&I projects and other initiatives active in the field of automated mobility, as well as thematic breakout sessions to discuss specific R&I challenges.
Towards a greener and smarter transportation through citizens engagement
The conference was opened by Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, who stressed the essential role of CCAM in fulfilling the goals of the European Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy. These goals can only be achieved by ensuring cooperation between stakeholders, and by engaging citizens:
‘I consider the concept of citizen engagement essential for wider acceptance of automated driving technologies. By involving regional actors, we can make the society a part of the solution.’
Seen as an integral part to bringing CCAM to the roads, the need for cooperation and coordination was stressed by many speakers during the conference.
Adina Valean, the European Commissioner for Transport emphasized the importance of data availability and quality for CCAM deployment. She insisted on the central role of innovation and technology in the goals of our society:
‘Innovation and technology are an indispensable part of every solution we have for our global challenges. One challenge linked to the transport and mobility sector is how to move people while also achieving less pollution, more efficiency and improved connectivity. To make this happen we have to deploy at greatest speed, all the technologies available and invest in further mobility targeted research.’ Commissioner Valean furthermore supported the call for improved cooperation: ‘To be smarter, we need to share more. Share visions, share ambition, share data and share services.’
The second key challenge identified by many speakers was the need to make mobility more inclusive: Henrik Hololei, Director-General at DG MOVE emphasised in his keynote speech that no one should be left behind: ‘Mobility must be available and affordable for all’.
This need for inclusive mobility was further stressed by Director General for Research and Innovation, Jean-Eric Paquet, highlighting the importance of engaging citizens in a co-creation process from the start.
The closing session of the EUCAD21 emphasized the need for trust between governments and users in order to achieve acceptance of the new technologies. Partnership was seen as a part of the solution by the panellists and co-creation was depicted as one of the most important aspects of CCAM solutions.
EUCAD21 became one of the most important platform to discuss and listen the expert opinions on the future of connected and automated mobility and the challenges ahead. The discussions led by experts will become a roadmap for achieving the CCAM solutions and overcoming the mentioned challenges.
EUCAD 2021 was co-organised by the European Commission and the ARCADE Project. ARCADE is an EU co-founded Support Action led by ERTICO working towards cooperation and consensus building between stakeholders and R&I initiatives on a common approach to development and testing of CCAM in Europe. In addition to ARCADE, ERTICO showcased its latest activities implementing connected and automated driving in Europe: CONCORDA, 5G-META, 5G-LOGINNOV, C-MobILE, 5G-MOBIX, ICT4CART, ENSEMBLE, SHOW.